SMP Guidelines Workshop on 27 March 2018 in Brussels

Debating the Commission’s proposals for the revision of the SMP Guidelines and the implications for the Electronic Communications Code

Following the publication by the European Commission of the draft Guidelines on Significant Market Power, WIK is organising a workshop in Brussels on 27 March 2018 to discuss the proposed changes to the guidelines, underlying case law, and the practical implications for NRAs and the industry.

Anthony Whelan, Director of the European Commission, DG Connect, and Johannes Gungl, BEREC Chair 2018, will present their positions. Concrete case studies and a discussion of the proposed SMP guidelines by representatives from industry and science are on the agenda. A focus is on the effects on the handling of oligopolies by the regulatory and competition authorities.



Digital Comparison Tools: Five stars?

WIK workshop with international experts in Brussels

Consumer watchdogs and others are criticising Digital Comparison Tools (DCTs) for their alleged lack of transparency, accountability, and comparability. The Federal Cartel Office has launched its sector enquiry into DCTs last year. WIK with kind support of CEPS discusses the actual impact of DCTs on consumers and market actors at a workshop with international experts in Brussels on 26 April 2018.



WIK presents recent survey on IT security in SMEs

Study for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy calls for immediate action

Despite increasing digitisation, SMEs still lack IT security awareness. Compared to five years ago, when WIK conducted a first study, the situation of IT security in SMEs has not yet improved significantly. There is now a clear need for action for SMEs themselves and for political actors. The actions of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's (BMWi) initiative „IT-Security in the Economy" can help to close the implementation gap. More action is needed.



FTTH’s crystal clear benefits

Consumers and businesses profit from fiber optic networks

A representative survey in Sweden shows that FTTH users are significantly more satisfied with their Internet connection than users of other access technologies. They use more Internet-based services and smart devices than DSL and cable customers. In addition, the results underline that municipalities play a key role in the successful deployment of fiber optic networks. Thus, even a rural region such as Nuenen (NL) can become a true pioneer in the most innovative agricultural technology and master demographic change with smart solutions.



State-aid VULA criteria

European Commission publishes WIK expert opinion

Precondition for granting state aid for a FTTC VDSL Vectoring NGA network architecture is the approval, that wholesale VULA (Virtual Unbundled Local Access) products are offered which meet the characteristics set by the market 3a definitions and the accompanying staff working document. WIK was mandated by the DG Competition to specify these criteria out of the market definition and best practice in Europe, before comparing these with the notified German VULA products. Deficits of the products have been improved until meeting the requirements set by DG Competition. WIK’s expert opinion has been adapted to the final approved product state and now is publicly available on the EC DG Competition homepage. It describes the results of the European best practice VULA benchmark, the VULA criteria, especially for meeting the product definition freedom of wholesale seekers regarding FTTC VDSL Vectoring VULA, and the criteria check with the finally notified products, resulting in the approval by the Commission.



Non-residential markets in Germany

Economic importance and requirements of non-residential customers

On behalf of VATM, WIK examined the economic relevance and requirements of the business customer segment in Germany. In a digitised world, telecommunications companies with their basic infrastructure enable and support the transition of their business customers to the digital economy with innovative products and services. The WIK study identifies which requirements a wholesale portfolio for business customers has to meet and which regulatory challenges should be tackled in order to strengthen and secure competition in the business customer segment.



Nationwide ultrahigh-bandwidth network in Switzerland

WIK NGA model determines costs for BAKOM

As part of the discussion on the nationwide expansion of a ultrahigh-bandwidth network in Switzerland, WIK-Consult supported the Federal Office of Communications (BAKOM) in autumn 2017 by calculating the costs and subsidy requirements with the NGA cost model. Under the assumption of a market-driven, profitable expansion with the broadband technologies FTTC, FTTS and FTTH-PtP up to the profitability limit we calculated the necessary additional subsidies, taking into account the already existing broadband expansion.



17th Königswinter Postal Seminar

International experts discussed current developments in postal markets

The 17th Königswinter Postal Seminar was held from 5 to 7 February 2018. More than 50 participants from all over Europe and the United States had a lively exchange of views on current developments in the letter and parcel markets at Hirschburg castle in Königswinter (Germany). This year's discussions focused on postal pricing strategies and rebates, the future design of the postal universal service, and business opportunities as well as new legislation for cross-border parcel shipments within Europe. The conference programme and the presentations are available for download.



Effectiveness of sector-specific consumer protection regimes in Germany

Communications and postal services – BNetzA only one player among others

The subject of consumer protection has become an integral part of the media and politics. The analysis shows that the effectiveness of sector-specific regulations can be improved. In addition to investigating the relevant consumer protection standards and their application in practice, the study focuses on how public and private actors can improve the effectiveness of consumer protection through intra- and inter-organisational cooperation.



Recht und Sicherheit im Fokus

„IT-Sicherheit und Recht“ stehen ab März im Blickpunkt bei Mittelstand-Digital (available in German language only)

Effizientere Produktion, schnellere Rechnungsabwicklung, Kostensenkungen: Die Digitalisierung birgt für Unternehmen viele positive Effekte. Dennoch bezeichnen fast 30 Prozent der deutschen Unternehmen rechtliche Unsicherheiten als Erschwernis bei der Unternehmensdigitalisierung und auch die Implementierung sicherer und zuverlässiger IT-Prozesse fordert viele Betriebe heraus. „IT-Sicherheit und Recht" stehen daher ab März im Blickpunkt bei Mittelstand-Digital: Auf der Mittelstand 4.0-Regionalkonferenz am 15. März in Chemnitz geht es vor allem um die rechtssichere Gestaltung der Digitalisierung. Unter dem Motto „Sicher Betrieb Machen! – Datenhoheit, Datensicherheit, Datenschutz in der Praxis" werden einen Tag lang Praxisbeispiele vorgestellt und diskutiert, wie die Digitalisierung (rechts-)sicher gelingt. Zudem steht die Datenschutz-Grundverordnung auf dem Programm, die ab Mai umgesetzt werden muss. Zu diesen Themen berichtet auch die neue Broschüre „IT-Sicherheit und Recht" der Mittelstand-Digital Begleitforschung, die auf der Veranstaltung in Chemnitz veröffentlicht wird. Die vierte Ausgabe dieser Veröffentlichungsreihe bietet wieder eine Mischung aus Praxisbeispielen, Expertenbeiträgen und Unterstützungsangeboten für kleine und mittlere Unternehmen.

Unternehmer können sich kostenfrei für die Mittelstand 4.0-Regionalkonferenz in Chemnitz anmelden. Die Broschüre „IT-Sicherheit und Recht" ist ab dem 15. März auch hier online abrufbar.



Dr Iris Henseler-Unger: FTTH Conference 2018, 13-15 February 2018, The Socio-Economic Benefits of FTTH, 13 February (Workshop), 15 February (Plenary)

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